tv [untitled] April 11, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
>> good morning. today is wednesday, march 21, 2012. this is the regular meeting of the building inspection commission. we would like for anyone -- if you have electronic devices, if you could please put those on silent. the first item on the agenda is roll call. commissioner mccray: -- commissioner mar: present. commissioner clinch: present. commissioner lee: present. commissioner mccarthy: present. commissioner mccray: present.
commissioner walker: present. >> commissioner melgar is expected. we have a quorum. next item is president's announcements. commissioner mar: thank you. i am temporarily chairing the meeting until we have a new president. i want to thank all the people in the audience -- i see we have a bigger turnout today. i guess we must credit it to the appointment of the two new commissioners here -- commissioner mccray and commissioner mccarthy, who i would like to welcome to this commission. i understand they have already had their tour of the department last week with commissioner melgar. i am sure it is one of their many visits they will be having as we move forward, and i think
we all look forward to working with them. in terms of other announcements, i just wanted to acknowledge two letters that commission staff got for helping out with some permits. i just want to acknowledge in particular yao was able to help a new homeowner who did not hardly speak english because chinese was her first language. i thought it was very good that he was able to help her in her own language walk through the permit process and give her a sense of what was required, being a first-time homeowner, to do some remodeling. i think those were two of the acknowledgements that staff recently received. the other thing in terms of
announcements is that i wanted to thank the six dbi staffers who represents d dbi at the st. patrick's day festival at civic center. this is an ongoing effort by the department to try to get out in the community more where we can do a little bit of tabling and just speak to the public for any concerns over permitting issues or other building issues. i know some of us also worked the chinese new year festival last month. we had st. patrick's day, and i think we are going to be -- you are going to see the dbi present at almost every single street fair or festival on the calendar this year. i would just like to encourage that beside dbi staffers, and
the commissioner who wants to -- has nothing to do on a saturday or sunday and wants to hang out in some of our great festivals can also volunteer. it is actually a good thing to do and gives us time to chat with staff and see the different kind of questions that the public comes up with. i think that is all i have for my announcements today. thank you. >> is there any public comment on the president's announcements? commissioner mar: i have one more announcement. i forgot. it was part of this acknowledgment of staff getting out there. i know also the senior inspector joe duffy also participated with mayor lee in one of his
community meetings. this is another way the department can get out there, and i hope that the mayor or even the board of supervisors in the future has community meetings with the agenda topic has to do with buildings or permits, that they would let the department know, and i'm sure we could also have people go out. sorry, i forgot about that. thank you. >> is there any public comment on the president's announcements? seeing none, item three, present certificates to former commissioners. commissioner mar: ok, so, first of all, i am very happy that past commissioner murphy and commissioner hechanova are here with us today. i think it is very deserving the department has put together these certificates to acknowledge their service to the
commission because both of them also were presidents of the commission that i had the look to serve under. they really help, as one of the newbies when i first came on. i think those held orientate me to the inner workings of the commission and the city and things like that. i just wanted to acknowledge them for helping out, and i was wondering if the director had any other comments to make or other commissioners about their service. >> yes, i would also like to thank the past presidents of the commission. they certainly helped me in my duties and the support of the staff along the way with the commission, and that does mean a lot to the staff when they have the backing of the commission. thank you, both mel and reuben. commissioner walker:
commissioners, it really has been a pleasure serving with both commissioner murphy and commissioner hechanova. the issues we deal with at this commission are vitally important to the future of san francisco. even as we have possibly disagreed on approaches and strategies, the conversations and dialogue that we have actually had at the commission and one on one has given us solutions that work best for the city of san appearances go. i will miss you. i hope you come back and visit. you have done amazing service to the city of san francisco, and you should be proud as well as us of the service you have offered. thank you very much. it is much appreciated. we look forward to -- i look forward to working with you on many things in the future, so
thank you. commissioner lee: there is also one past commissioner that is not here today that i would like to at leacknowledge and recognize, and that is our chris romero. i would like to thank chris. he is a friend of mine. i did not know him before i joined the commission, but when i joined, he was here already. we went through some rough times on the commission, but commissioner romero and i -- we talk and we smiled, and we knew when the tide turned. it was when we started moving the commission and the department to what it is today. i am great bull -- grateful that chris was there when i joined. i also wanted to mention commissioner mel murphy was absolutely a godsend when he came on to the commission.
when he arrived six years ago, we really moved the commission and the department towards where it is today. it has been fairly rock steady since then. with a bpr, the business -- whatever bpr stands for. [laughter] so that broke the commissioners and city staff knows what they should be doing, how they should be acting towards the public, towards each other, and so on and so forth. we started the permanent processing, and we improved that. we got the fifth floor going. a lot of things were done under those six years that commissioner murphy was on board. commissioner hechanova is an
architect. it was refreshing to have another architect on the commission. in this and he is passionate about wastewater, green water, and i will say i will try to carry that torch for you and try to get that moving and get the simplified so that everybody in san francisco can have some of the gray water system in their homes. thank you very much. commissioner mccarthy: i will keep my comments brief. i also would like to thank both commissioners for the transition. we have had a lot of conversations, and i would like to particularly thank commissioner murphy for reminding me how much work i have ahead of me. also, kind of hitchhiked with other commissioners. i know there were a lot of issues that were very passionate to you. some of them are here today, but we will carry the torch and follow through, particularly on the greeting with commissioner hechanova and commissioner
murphy on the process and how to make it more efficient. thank you, and thank you for helping me personally in the transition to this commission. >> read the certificate. >> i just want to our knowledge that commissioner melgar has joined us -- i just want to acknowledge. >> i am the commission secretary, and i wanted to thank commissioners chris romero, reuben hechanova, and l. murphy for their years of service. the certificate reads, "in appreciation for your many years of outstanding professional service to the department of building inspection and to the city and county of san francisco. your colleagues here by convey our sincere and heartfelt gratitude for your professionalism, dedication, and
commitment to the citizens of san francisco. -- citizens of san francisco." if you would like to come up. >> thank you. [applause] >> i would like to say a few words. to me, this certificate not only means a lot, but having had the opportunity to serve on the commission has really been an experience that i wish could be as good for all of you currently sitting there. i want to thank also mayor gavin
newsom who gave me the opportunity and opened the doors for me. along with that, mayor lee, who last year, was so kind to have me continue, but more importantly, fellow commissioners, thank you so much for those that serve with us through both battles and the victories, and along with that, welcome to commissioner mccarty, commissioner melgar, commissioner mccray. i am proud of the accomplishments that our commission has done, especially passing the nation's greatest building policy -- green is green building policy, by which it was not only nationally recognized, but also
internationally recognized last year in south africa by the world green building council. that is a torch that this commission will continue to carry along with shedding the light for the city as an example for other cities to execute and implement this green building policy. along with that, the accomplishment of caps that is now in the hands of the city, in respect of providing a more livable and safe city. the third is basically the category of bringing the department into the technology world that hopefully will be implemented, if not at least tried out in the future. also, the permit tracking system, which will provide a better and higher service of permitting to the citizens of san francisco, but not also to make the efforts of the staff, to even be more expeditious in a
way that can also serve both public and staff in the same way. most of all, i would also like to thank vivian for all the service you have provided to date and the many conversations with how the department could be made better and along with that, john, who has always been available to help counsel me on how to best approach the way that things can be done in a way that protects the rights of both sides of the city and also those that are in play. ed sweeney, pamela leaven, tom -- handsome tom -- and most importantly, also, sonya harris, who has provided tremendous support during the course of what i have done and my last year. the challenges are many and constant. those changes will always be moving in a target that is hard
to sometimes pin down, but i know that with this commission, the new commission and the new blood, you will be more than able to handle all the adversities and challenges before you. as i began, and i also will end, from where i began, where i said this is a great city and that with each and every effort that you provide in your level of community service, to make this great city even better by the work and devotion that you do. thank you very much. >> i want to say thank you very much for the certificate. becoming a dbi commissioner was an honor for me. i was delighted to serve two years as president.
commissioner walker said to me, i think my first meeting, she said, "i love to have an irish man sitting beside me." [laughter] now you've got another one sitting beside you. [laughter] thank you for your kind words. we've had our disagreements over the years, but the disagreements never left his room. we remained friends. we've had coffee, we talk about things. i think that is important, to have a dialect. angus, congratulations. i think it is great that you take over a seat that i sat in. i have always felt that my role was to represent the stakeholders, the small builders, small developers, homeowners, mom and pop's who are trying to get permits.
essentially, the people who were writing the checks on a daily basis. i wanted them to get value for their buck. i think to a certain extent, we did help over the last six years, though change is slow, very slow for somebody from the private sector. i have a guy that wants things to happen now. that is not the case for the city. to be on the commission, it is important to be loyal, to be loyal to people on the staff -- some incredible people. i sort of look at them as extended family. go back all the way to mcauliffe -- mcalester street over here when i first came down for permits. we used to go in and get the permit, and then we would go
down to the basement in city hall and have breakfast. i would also like to thank kevin. he was always my silent adviser. never said an awful lot, but what he did say was always well thought out. warren and i always got on very well. always a lot of respect for warrant. you have done a great job. and frank -- frank was, as i said earlier, he was around when i got here. he had been around for quite a while. he sort of meant toward me a little bit and helped me. i remain very close to frank, and i have great respect for him. i want to welcome the two new commissioners over here.
you are welcome, and i'm sure you will do a great job. john on our legal staff -- he has offered me valuable advice over the years, and i appreciate that. my two sisters -- three sisters here -- i really enjoy working with you guys. i think that is all i have to say. i write a script, and then i lay it down and forget to read it. >> that is the best way. >> so i wish you all the best. thanks. [applause] >> is there any public comment on the item 3? great, seeing none, item four,
election ofbic president and vice-presidents -- election of bic president and vice- president. >> typically, what would happen is there would be discussion amongst commissioners, and a motion would be made to nominate someone, and then if it is seconded, you would then vote. usually, the preference would be if there is multiple motions and seconds, it gets confusing, so usually, it is better to handle them sequentially rather than to have multiple motions setting out there on the table. you would first go through the election of the president, and then that president then could conduct the elections for the
vice-president. commissioner mar: so i guess we would open nominations for the president. commissioner walker. commissioner walker: thank you, warren. i have been on this commission for quite a while. i served as president myself and have served under nell, -- mel, reuben, frank -- i think that is it so far, but it is vital that there is a working relationship between -- especially the president because the president does really carry the commission's communication to the department. i want to just say that since commissioner mar has been vice- president and now took over as president since the new
commissioners got appointed, he has done an amazing job of reaching out to other commissioners, to staff, trying to take up the slack in the transition as we became a new commission. in that light, especially since there has not been a president from the appointees of the board of supervisors since i was president many years ago -- so in the light of and in the spirit of working together and really coming together to move this department forward, i actually nominate warren mar, who is currently vice-president, as president. commissioner mar: thank you. i accept, i guess. that is there a second? >> i second that motion. commissioner lee: and can i
speak? i have given this a lot of thought. being president of the commission -- and i have served as president of the commission before -- takes a lot of time and effort. i personally would like to nominate ankus mccarthy --angus mccarthy. i believe we have a lot of work to do in areas that his experience and expertise are helpful. just as i did a couple of years ago, when i supported commissioner murphy for the presidency, i believe that the contractors seat is the best person to lead the commission at this time still. i will tell you why -- our department is running well. the areas that needed improving our improving, but there is still a lot to do.
in my belief, commissioner mccarty as a home builder, contractor, small businessmen, has the most experience in the category of getting permits and inspections for construction projects. i will tell you why we need to continue with that -- because we not only need to make things better for the regular customers -- talking about architects, engineers, contractors -- talking about the everyday folks, homeowners that may only come to the department once in a lifetime. i want to share an experience with you that i had over the weekend. i think i mentioned it to one or two commissioners about this. saturday, i was at the function, and i was introduced as a building commissioner. sure enough, as usual, people came up to me and started asking questions. i had one couple who live here. they are not architects, engineers, or contractors. they are just professionals living here. they are smart, but they wanted
to remodel their kitchen. they asked me a simple question -- "why can we not download a permit application from the website?" i know the answer, but that is not the point. the point is we should be doing things to make it easier for folks like that that want to do the right thing so that we do not have all these other problems out there. we should encourage people to come here to see permits, seek inspections, and i do not think we have gone far enough to encourage that and get those people working with us, as you may say. commissioner mccarty shared some ideas with me on how we can improve that, make things simpler, make things more understandable, removing that kind of mystery from our department. being a contractor in small
business -- he has been in the construction industry for many years now, seeks a law permits from the department -- i think probably more than any of us combined. i think his experience as a commissioner on the immigration rights commission -- he was the president for five years, and that commission has a bigger number of commissioners then this one does with both the mayor and board of supervisor appointees, and he was able to work with them as well as folks in the city government. i think commissioner mccarty would be worthy of being president, and i nominate commissioner mccarty. >> i do not want to stop other discussion, but i want to have a point of information from council -- should we take one nomination at a time, or what will be the best process? >> it is up to the acting president. we may be headed toward having
competing motions on the floor, in which case, the first motion that received a second takes precedent. that would be the first one that you would vote on, but you can have competing motions with seconds on the floor to consider if you, as acting president, want to proceed in that direction. commissioner mar: why don't we just vote on the first motion, since it has been seconded, so we can move that out of the way, and then proceed with the second motion? with that the appropriate? >> it would. you would need to take public comment. >> can i, before we go into voting, except the position?